June 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 179


June 28, 2022

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June 27, 2022

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COVID-19 Weekly Newsletter: CDC Releases Guidance for Vaccinated Population

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and vaccine news from the White House highlight another week in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

New CDC Findings and Recommendations

According to guidance released by the CDC last week, those who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks do not need to quarantine if exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual. A CDC study also found that double-masking can reduce exposure by 95%. To get the best results, the agency says to layer masks by wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask — but not two surgical masks on top of one another. Tying the ends of the surgical masks to tighten the fitting was also noted to boost efficacy.

Counterfeit N95 Masks Made It to Frontline Workers

The N95 mask can filter 95% of airborne particles that can carry the COVID-19 virus. It is the mask most commonly provided to frontline workers due to its robust filtration. However, many states have raised alarms that they have received fake versions of it. More than 10 million counterfeit N95 masks have been seized by U.S. authorities. In Washington state alone, the state hospital association reports that 1.9 million fake N95 masks have been supplied to 40 hospitals. Early in the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved KN95 masks to respond to a shortage of N95 masks, claiming they provide similar protection. However, months of research have called this into question, as some KN95 masks have been found to only filter 30% of the tiny particles (though there are KN95 masks that provide protection similar to N95 masks). The FDA maintains a list of KN95 masks on their website that are suitable substitutions when N95 masks are not available.

Federal Government Looks to Buy More Vaccines

This week, the federal government finalized deals to buy 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer Moderna by the end of July. President Biden announced these details at the National Institutes of Health on Thursday. The purchase would increase America’s available supply of vaccines by 50%, helping avoid a shortfall.

White House Launches Community Health Center Vaccine Program

Despite efforts to ensure equity and access to vaccines and instill vaccine confidence, only 5% of doses have gone to Black Americans. To address this, the Biden administration announced this week the development of a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and a new program, to start next week, to administer vaccines through federally qualified health centers.

Additional Resources

Government Actions: COVID-19

Tracking executive orders, legislation, and other government actions related to COVID-19 by state and major locality across the U.S.

Tracking Fraud Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tracking federal and state law enforcement and regulatory actions taken against bad actors who have exploited the COVID-19 emergency to defraud consumers and payers.

© 2022 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 43

About this Author

James M. Vergis, Ph.D. Director of Science & Technology Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath Washington, D.C.
Director, Science & Technology

James Vergis is a multidisciplinary Ph.D. scientist who provides scientific and management support to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industry consortia. He is particularly adept at helping clients streamline the development of new technology and data-sharing processes. A researcher whose work has touched on various fields of study, Jamie is passionate about helping clients cultivate new scientific knowledge and drive public policy changes that enhance the drug-development process.

Scientific Background

Jamie is an experienced biochemistry, biophysics,...

Sarah Lloyd Stevenson Life Sciences Policy Advisor

A former policy advisor to federal government agencies and elected officials, Sarah-Lloyd Stevenson helps health and life sciences stakeholders advance policy goals before Congress and federal agencies. Having worked to draft, enact and gain support for health laws and policies at the highest levels of federal government, Sarah-Lloyd delivers policy advocacy strategies informed by firsthand experience getting results in Washington, D.C.

White House Policy Advisor

Prior to joining Faegre Drinker Consulting, Sarah-Lloyd served as policy advisor to the White House’s Domestic...

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Nisha K. Quasba Public Health Policy Advisor Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath Washington, D.C.

Nisha Quasba serves as a strategic advisor in complex matters regarding public health policy. Staying nimble in an evolving legislative and policy environment is her greatest strength. Through effective advocacy, stakeholder, and coalition engagement, Nisha is able to address client needs and pinch-points. Translating complex policy and scientific jargon into understandable language is her strong suit.

Public Health Experience

Prior to her time with Faegre Drinker, Nisha served as a public policy specialist with the Association of Public Health Laboratories, liaising...